The design of an air conditioner, how and where it is installed, and whether or not it is properly maintained all play a significant role in the efficiency of the system. Following are some tips along these lines that can enable you to reduce your energy consumption while keeping your home at a comfortable temperature.
The first step in reducing energy consumption and saving money is to choose the right type of air conditioner for your home. You will need to not only consider the brand name and seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating but also find out what refrigerants and ducting materials are used, how the thermostat works, and whether or not the system has a computerized control system.
The size of the A/C unit will also have an impact on how energy efficient it is. If the unit is too small, it will not provide sufficient cold air to all rooms of the home. This will usually lead to a homeowner turning down the temperature in an effort to keep cool, thus increasing energy usage. However, an oversized unit is also ineffective, as it does not reduce humidity in the home, once again causing the homeowner to lower the temperature and use more energy than would have otherwise been necessary.
Naturally, newer units are more energy efficient than their older counterparts. If your air conditioner is more than ten years old, you can reduce energy consumption by up to 40% if you install a newer, more efficient model.
In order for a split system air conditioner to function properly, the outdoor unit housing the condenser, compressor, and expansion valve must be installed in a shady location where dust and debris cannot obstruct airflow. An A/C technician will look for a shady spot near your house that is not directly under a tree or overhead deck or near a bush or fence. Shrubs, fences, and barriers make it hard for an air conditioner unit to emit heat, thus resulting in higher energy bills and a shorter system life span. Moreover, dust and debris can clog the condensing coil and can cause an A/C unit to break down.
Even a well-operating air conditioner will need regular maintenance in order to function properly. It is especially important to have the ducts checked for leaks, as an A/C unit can lose anywhere from 20% to 40% of its energy via duct leakage alone. It is also important to ensure that all ducts located outside the home are properly insulated.
Air conditioner filters will need to be replaced every month or two during peak season in order for the unit to operate at full efficiency. Cleaning or replacing the filters can reduce energy consumption by anywhere from 5% to 15%. The evaporator coil should be checked on an annual basis and cleaned as needed, while the condenser coil fins should be cleaned whenever they start to accumulate dirt.
Simple Steps for Saving Money
Average electric bills range from $76.56 to $190.36, depending on your geographical location. However, as homeowners across the United States have found, the electric bill is nearly always higher than any other utility bill. Fortunately, there are measures that can be taken to reduce air conditioner-related energy consumption and save a significant amount of money. The tips outlined above may take time and an initial investment to implement, but they can enable you to save money both in the short- and the long-term.
If you are looking to get a more energy efficient A/C unit, or its time for preventative maintenance, please give JMAC a call today!
JMAC Plumbing & Air Conditioning